Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Pet Cemetery, Haunted Mansion

"I don't want to be buried in a pet cemetery" - The Ramones

Ditto, Ramones, ditto.

I have another batch of photos from the "Dream Team" - that's Irene, Bruce, and James. All of these were taken near the Haunted Mansion, and feature the pet cemeteries - as I learned from this excellent post at the excellent "Long-Forgotten" blog, there were two pet cemeteries. You know my credo - anything worth doing is worth over-doing. 

This first one gives a good idea of where the second cemetery is. It seems a little odd to bury so many dead pets right next to the house (what's that smell?), but it is what it is. HBG2 tells us that these scenes consist of store-bought garden statues of various animals, which were then arranged into graves, sometimes with humorous tableaus.

Who has a pet squirrel? Somebody out there, I suppose. My little brother rescued one from a pond when he was a kid, but it didn't live very long. He cried, and who can blame him?

This stretch of wall has grave markers applied to it for various animals, including a rat, "Jeb" the spider, a fish, and a snake. Notice the headstones on the berm in the background, for people who like to be buried on an incline.

I wonder if that raven is also something from a catalog? "Just Ravens". Why make it when you can buy it.

"Buddy - our friend until the end". What, no gruesome, Ed Gorey-ish manner of death? Maybe he drank some antifreeze, or got run over by an ice cream truck. There, now I feel better.

"Old Flybait: He Croaked". I get it! Notice that he died 100 years before the Mansion opened to the public, exactly.

Here's another image that shows how close these fanciful graves are to the front entrance. Aw, a bunny! My friend had a bunny and it was so nice. I miss her (the bunny, not my friend - I talk to her every day). I'm noticing those plants, they appear to be a funereal black here. Appropriate.

There is nothing more terrifying to a cat than five tiny birds. Notice the actual live sparrow next to the birdie statue to the left. Paying respects to a loved one?

HBG2 says that these next three show the first pet cemetery, ... in the vacant yard on the north side of the HM, alongside the wheelchair access path, reportedly to give (guests) something to look at over there. Here's Big Jake... "...chasing a toad down a well was his one mistake". What about not paying his taxes for three years in a row? Huh? What about that?

Miss Kitty... After losing eight lives you still had no fear. You caught a snake in your ninth and that's why you're here. Who among us hasn't caught a snake in his or her mouth? The trick is to show no fear as it sinks its fangs into your cheek.

Pet skunks? I've heard of such a thing. What's wrong with a nice friendly hamster? You may be departed, But your presence will always linger on.

There you go! Another Halloweeny post. Thanks as always to Irene, Bruce, and James, and thanks also to HBG2 for his invaluable blog.


Nanook said...

It's these (not so little) touches that make Disney Parks so special. Not just one - but two pet cemeteries-!

And as for pet squirrels - judging from the number of YouTube videos out there - I'd reckon there're quite a few. And I'll never forget the time I was at the Century City Shopping Center when I saw a woman about to disembark from the escalator coming up from the subterranean parking structure with her pet squirrel perched atop her right shoulder. The squirrel was so excited as the lady approached The Broadway Department store - I presume the squirrel heard about the white sale there, and couldn't wait to get inside the store to take advantage of the big savings-!

Thanks to The Dream Team.



That’s not really a raven but a Richfield Autopia Eagle finial - “reincarnated “ as a pet Raven’s Tombstone! As Thousands of guests turned the corner to the mansion’s side garden they would see the avian marker and say “ That’s So Raven” ..... inspiring a Disney Channel tv show.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, that woman at the shopping center sounds really nutty!

I've heard of the second pet cemetery on the side of the Mansion, but I have never seen it in person. Thank you, Dream Team and Major, for these pics.

You know.....Knott's has a "heart beat" effect, which can be felt when standing on one of the graves in their "Boot Hill." Disney should have some kind of effect with their pet cemetery. I'd suggest having a teeny tiny pipe hidden in the grass, in front of the skunk statue. It could spray some putrid-smelling liquid onto guests, as they pass. It would be a real gas!

stu29573 said...

At first I was a little miffed at the haphazard look of the pet cemetary, buy then realized that's probably how they would really be arranged. The moving markers on thr berm are another issue not so easily forgiven. And don't even get me started on the garbage that makes up the WDW cemetary. A few imagineers need to really be buried there for creating that cheesy, unrealistic pap. So there.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Irene, Bruce, James, Major and HBG2: Thank you for lots of fun pictures and info! I love Lilac the skunk, and the cat and birds statues/grouping.

I'm enjoying the comments, too, from our Jr. Gorillas!

Hey, I don't see any pet hermit crab memorials of any sort. I had a few of those, in my younger years.


DrGoat said...

That was fun. We always got a kick from the pet cemetery. Mom loved to read all inscriptions. By the time the mansion opened up, I was in my late teens so I wasn't running around like a kid in the best candy store in the world. Good memories. Great pics and thanks M. for that link. There is so much good stuff out there by people who really love the park.
PS link to the shrunken head pics.
Thanks Dream Team, and Major. Fun post.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, not only did that woman have a pet squirrel, but she felt the need to bring it with her while shopping. I always think that’s weird! You can leave your pet home, it’s OK. There’s a guy who lives near me who goes for walks with his parrot on his shoulder, it is the man who is the “odd bird” in this case. At least in the case of parrots, they’re so smart that maybe they need the stimulation.

Mike Cozart, this is why I need experts like you to chime in! And I can see that you are like me and know every episode of “That’s So Raven”. Greatest show ever!

TokyoMagic!, now it’s been so long since I’ve been to the park that I can’t say for sure whether I’ve seen the second pet cemetery either. I love the Knott’s heart beat effect. A stink effect for the skunk is inspired!

stu29573, I suppose you’re right, pets die randomly (OR DO THEY?), and it’s not like they’d normally have a plot of land that started out as a cemetery for critters. I agree with you about the gimmicky queue at the WDW Mansion, just a bunch of dumb gags that spoil the essence of the attraction, all for people with short attention spans.

Lou and Sue, you had pet hermit crabs?! They don’t seem very cuddly, but then again, we had a few pet anole chameleons. All they had to do is change from brown to green (and back again) and we were totally happy with them!

DrGoat, I do like the idea of a pet cemetery, though I wish they did something a little more clever than just taking “off the shelf” garden statues and repurposing them. On the other hand, if the powers that be go overboard, we wind up with the nightmare situation of the queue in Florida. Maybe I should just be grateful for what we have! Thank you for the shrunken head pix, that’s exactly how I remember them!

stu29573 said...

DrGoat, yeah, that's the ticket! So cool you found him (her?) (It?)!!!

Anonymous said...

I vaguely remember these, but I guess they didn't make much impression. Might remember the cat and the squirrel.

My last couple of trips, I did the HM during parades and shows, and just about ran through the queue. I think I rode it 4X in an hour, which is pretty good since I think the ride duration is 11 minutes.

I do recall the tombstones on the berm, which are weird, and the vaults in the wall, some of which date back to the origins, or might.

Dr. Goat, awesome shrunken head, thanks for the link!

Thanks Major, Dream Team and HBG2.


Major Pepperidge said...

stu29573, actually the shrunken head looks better than I remember - more detail. I need one like it to hang from my rearview mirror.

JG, wow, 4 times in an hour, that sounds like fun! It seems like there was a time when I would go to the park and the Haunted Mansion didn’t have a long line - often I would walk up to the front porch and wait a minute or two. But the last few visits, the lines were much, MUCH longer. I think it was always during the “Nightmare Before Christmas” overlay, maybe that was why? I haven’t seen the non-Nightmare Mansion for years, sadly. My best experience was just before closing, there were only two other people in the stretching room. So, nobody was looking at their phone, nobody was doing the spiel along with the Ghost Host, and nobody thought they were hilarious by screaming when the lights went out. It was great!

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, thanks for sharing your pics. My brother and I both bought shrunken heads during a visit to Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles. They looked just like yours, but unfortunately, I don't think either one of them survived. As a side note, I love the Aurora monster model ads you have posted. My brother had every single one of those models, and I had a few of them, too.

Sue, I had a couple pet hermit crabs, as well! My mom took me to the local pet store for my birthday, and she was going to buy me one of those tiny turtles that you would see swimming around in aquariums at the pet stores. When we got there, they explained that it had recently become illegal to sell them, but they talked me into a couple hermit crabs, instead. I already had hamsters....a lot of them. Funny thing, they just kept multiplying.

Major, I forgot to mention, as the "sprayed" guests exit the Haunted Mansion, they would be able to buy a can of tomato juice from a strategically placed cart, for only $19.99.

"Lou and Sue" said...

TokyoMagic! Yeah, I started out with a number of those hermit crabs, but the tiniest one wanted to be a "hermit" and, as he grew, he kept killing the others (I won't go into details). I had that one for 10 years. I would buy really pretty shells for him (and the others - while they lasted) to change into as they grew bigger, each year. Major, nope, they aren't cuddly - but I had a dog, too; he WAS cuddly.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, I do think that shrunken head WOULD look good on a Christmas tree! Fun! Thanks for sharing!


Just a interesting note;

Exactly 8 months ago today ( March 13th) was the LAST day Disneyland was open.


Regarding “shrunken heads “ as Christmas ornaments : in 2011 WDI created park themed Christmas trees for auction for charity . My department - dimensional design ( model shop) did a 60’s style It’s A Small World clock tower theme . Another department did a Adventureland / Jungle Cruise Tree ..... with shrunken heads!!!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, that is sooo cool! Do you have any pictures you can share here?

Anonymous said...

Major, it was a lot of fun. For some reason, the West side was really light traffic. The River was closed and the train was shut down for WookieWorld construction, and so everybody went to the parade.

I could just run (hobble) around from the exit back to the entrance, like your experience, there were only 4 or 5 of us in the Stretch Room, and I could enjoy the new Hatbox Ghost. I really detest the Nightmare overlay and it was so good to see the original again.

@Tokyo, your skunk idea is really great. Maybe they can put Johnny Depp's face on the tomato juice can.

@Mike Cozart, YES please post pictures of the shrunken head tree!


"Lou and Sue" said...

And your it’s a small world tree, Mike!!

DrGoat said...

The ancient and wise shrunken head thanks you for the appreciative comments!
Tokyo, I had all those models too. Frankenstein was my favorite. Wolfman and Creature From the Black Lagoon were fun too. If i remember correctly, I messed up Dracula with a too soon after gluing paint job. I think the last one I got was the Hunchback, but I was a bit older and had interest in other things by then. Like the Beatles. And girls.
stu & Major, I think it's a her. When I pulled it out of the Shiny Brite ornament box, it had it's hair tied back very stylishly.
I think the detail came out because of the dirt highlighting the wrinkles and creases in it's usually all black countenance.
Mike, that is so cool. I'm with L&S, have any images? Love to see that tree.

Melissa said...

"'Buddy - our friend until the end'. What, no gruesome, Ed Gorey-ish manner of death?"

B is for Buddy, who bit more than dust,
And now he is lying beneath the Earth's crust.
He'd nip at your flesh, and take more than a pound,
And now the poor hound is no longer around.

TokyoMagic! Don't give them ideas! They already spray us with enough skunk scent in Journey into Imagination!

The only time I got to ride the California Mansion, there was no queue at all and we just walked up to the front door and strolled in, as if it really was merely that spooky old house on the edge of town. It was real Disney magic.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, shrunken heads on Olvera Street, I love it. Nothing weird about that at all. I can’t imagining letting my mom throw our shrunken heads away (assuming my memory isn’t wrong), but there are four kids in our family, so she must have thrown out something! Yes, those Aurora models were great. I had King Kong, and my brother had Frankenstein (OK, OK, Frankenstein’s monster). We had some little red-eared turtles at one point, but never hermit crabs. Another reason I was deprived! ;-) We had a few mice, we had John, Paul, and George, but no Ringo. You sure have big ideas for “skunk juice” at Disneyland!

Lou and Sue, oh man, I didn’t know they would kill each other. Bummer. It would be kind of fun to buy nice shells for them to move into. How big can they get? Will they keep on growing if they have enough food and enough room?

Lou and Sue, you can get shrunken heads in many color variations, it would look very festive.

Mike Cozart. WOW. 8 months. Incredible.

Mike Cozart, I would love to see those Christmas trees!

Lou and Sue, I’m hoping Mike has pix.

JG, gosh, I would have assumed that the Mansion would have been EXTRA crowded during that construction, since so much was closed elsewhere. Hey, it worked out in your favor. I’ve still never seen the new Hatbox Ghost. I am OK with the Nightmare overlay, I just wish that it wasn’t there for 1/3 of the year. It just seemed like the girl who always goes to the park with me wanted to go in November, it wasn’t planned.

Lou and Sue, yes, those two, and maybe other trees since it was a charity event.

DrGoat, at some point Aurora made those models with glow-in-the-dark heads, and even though I am all about glowing stuff, I preferred the originals. Nowadays one of those model kits, unopened in the shrink wrap, can go for well over $100. I think we had a Mummy too, but I forget if it was mine or my brother’s. He was much better at building models than I was. I still remember trying to build a WWII bomber model, and the two halves absolutely would not fit together.

Melissa, thanks! Who needs Edward Gorey?? We’ve got Melissa! My sister’s dog got “skunked”, and she said tomato juice did nothing to lessen the stink. They had to buy some special shampoo.


I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of the other trees but somewhere I have a team group shot of us standing around our completed tree before it was taken away. None of the tree makers attended the charity auction ( we were not invited) but I know all of them sold for a great deal of money each .... which is good since it was for charity.

It’s almost impossible to take pictures of anything in or around WDI of ANYTHING !! One time I was standing in the parking lot talking to some other workers and I took a picture of the exterior of the old bowling alley building - from the shot you would never even know you were on Disney priority . Well in seconds a security guard had me delete the picture and checked the ones before it and my id was scanned. I had to talk with a supervisor and was ok...... but man I was afraid to even have my phone on me after that! My boss used to always joke with us when something went wrong or didn’t work they way we expected it and would say “ that’s going in your file.......” . After the bowling alley photo incident and I return to my work bench I got a “ Cozart !! That’s going in your file” lol.

Melissa said...

"Frankenstein (OK, OK, Frankenstein’s monster"

My contention is that the monster was technically Victor's son and therefore entitled to use the family name. But I never finished my degree in Monstrology, so what do I know?